Cricket on the air!
This is the first Test match at Wankhede Stadium since the passing away of revered radio commentator Suresh Saraiya, who died at the age of 76 due to a heart attack in July.
Saraiya covered more than 100 Tests over four decades. Prakash Wakankar (an Indian commentator on BBC’s Test Match Special team for this series, but has been permitted to do duty for All India Radio just for this Test match) said: “Suresh Saraiya is dearly missed. He was one of the few ones we have grown up listening to.
The BBC had also utilised Wakankar’s services for the 2011 ODI series against India. “Radio commentary is very popular in countries like England and Australia. It is more of a live interactive platform for the listeners. We get huge response. It is unfortunate that in India it is more of television. Radio doesn’t get its respect,” said Wakankar.
BBC’s radio cricket producer Adam Mountford is delighted: “He (Wakankar) is very good in bringing out the mood, colour and capturing the Indian culture. He also adds balance to our coverage.”
MCA takes no chance
THE Mumbai Cricket Association is well aware of past crowd trouble at the Wankhede Stadium. During the 2007 India vs Australia seventh and the final ODI here, a section of the crowd racially abused Andrew Symonds with monkey chants. The incident took place a week after the burly all-rounder was subjected to with the same monkey chants in Baroda.
However, taking no chances with the Wankhede crowd, which is considered most hostile at times, the MCA officials are playing a ‘behave in appropriate manner’ message during breaks in the ongoing Test.